Ebenezer Adjei aka ‘Killer’ is one of the current trainers who want to see the best of Ghana boxing reigning at the highest level.
He is unhappy that Ghana has no world champion, in spite of the hard work of some boxers and coaches.
The 44 year old head coach of the Black Panthers Boxing Gym at James Town had an exclusive interview with Yours Truly, SHO and here are excerpts:
SHO: How did you get into the game and business of boxing?
EA: Well, thank you very much for this opportunity. I got involved many years ago when I was following Osumanu Akaba aka ‘Golden Boy’ and Osumanu Yahya aka ‘Ossie Duran’ to the Black Panthers Gym. They were great boxers in their time and I really admired and followed them everywhere, especially Akaba, and that gave me the interest and I took the decision to become a boxing trainer or coach.
SHO: How long have you been a coach and is it rewarding?
EA: Well, I have been in the business for the past four years, and it’s because of the love for boxing in Bukom and James Town, we want to help the youth to be better citizens and responsible, but for the rewards hmmm, we are still waiting.
SHO: So you are at the Black Panthers Gym? Tell me much about the Gym?
EA: Yes, since the demise of one of our great coaches in Ghana, Emmanuel Tagoe aka ‘Akise’, I have to take over and it has been very challenging, though interesting.
Black Panthers is where the Clottey brothers, Joshua and Emmanuel came from and I feel proud to be continuing the good work started by the late Akise. We have over 40 boxers made up of juveniles, amateurs and professional boxers. We have been in many competitions, but currently had it not been the Bukom Fist of Fury series, we lack promotions.
SHO: Wow, How do you feel training boxers when there are no fights or challenge for the boxers?
EA: That is our problem, we need promotions and the Bukom Boxing Arena is very expensive to hire, so we fight locally in the communities, and in fact it’s not easy. The rewards for the boxers are not enough, which is why we are calling on the government to support boxers like it does for footballers. Even the boxers have been able to give the nation world titles, so those coming up, the young ones need some encouragement.
Look at the way our Black Bombers were treated when they were going for the 2020 Olympic qualifier in Dakar, had it not been the Ghana Olympic Committee president Ben Nunoo Mensah, like things would be very bad. We want the Ministry of Youth & Sports and the National Sports Authority to support us well, because we have great potential world champions, but the state is not helping and this is affecting the sport. We need good amateurs to turn into better professional boxers.
SHO: Can you say we still have good boxing coaches in Ghana?
EA: Yes indeed, we have lost some people like Attuquaye Clottey, Alloway Dzanie Kotey, Tawiah, Akise and others, but currently we have Dr. Ofori Asare of Wisdom, Akai Nettey of Attoh Quarshie, Lartey of Fit Square, Okoe Addy of The Gym, Charles Quartey, Carl Lokko of Bronx and others at Sea View and Bukom Gym who are doing very well. Our problem like I said is motivation.
We must thank Lawyer Moses Foh Amoaning and the GBA for giving us refresher boxing courses, which must be regularly organized.
SHO: Talking about promotions, how do you see it?
EA: Well, I can say it is not the best; we must attract sponsorship to move better, some of the promoters like Baby Jet, Dons, Golden Mike are pulling back due to many things including indiscipline of some boxers. Boxing is for gentlemen, so my advice for boxers is that they must be disciplined so that we can be attractive. I think we the coaches must also learn how to be business-like and know about event planning and management. Please allow me to commend Box Office led by Alex Ntiamoah for his promotions in the community.
SHO: You are the coach of the young boxer, Alfred Lamptey aka ‘Bukom Bomber’. How do you see the future?
EA: We have a lot of boxers, but my problem like I said is discipline. If our boxers are disciplined, we would be attractive for companies.
For Alfred Lamptey, I am proud to be his coach, and I want him to be among the world best. He is talented, skillful and willing to learn, with the right management and direction, we will reach our targets. Just that I don’t want him to be swollen headed with the publicity he is getting.
SHO: What is your message or worry in Ghana Boxing?
EA: My main problem is about frequent boxing bouts. We don’t have many challenges like in the past when the best boxers clash to see who is who, also we need financial support from the government and my final message is to thank you especially for the marvelous and wonderful work you are doing for Ghana Sports in general. You are not called General One for nothing; you are a real champion in the media. God bless you and your family as well as all the people you work with, at NewsGhana, BoxinGhana, ModernGhana, African Sports, Ultimate Sports and the Ghana Olympic Committee (GOC).